01 Feb Meet The Team: Damian Farrell
In February’s Meet The Team feature, we sat down with Damian Farrell, our Senior Corporate Account Manager…
What made you want to get into the travel industry?
Having spent time working abroad in America as a student in the mid 90’s through Camp America, I was fascinated at the sheer scale of organising the travel, not just for me but also the thousands of other students and this was just to one country, over a 3 to 4 month period!
The idea of the logistical challenge for people booking hotels, flights and rail and the way technology was developing to aid and give people choice intrigued me, as this was the one commodity everybody touches regularly.
When did you join LateRooms.com Business?
On a day to day basis, what does your job involve?
I manage a team of account managers and indirectly the Offline Reservations booking team for LateRooms.com Business corporate customers.
This involves managing and nurturing the customer relationships, driving revenue streams and new opportunities, resolving any issues that customers may face and offering commercial solutions that are prevalent to aiding the customer’s booking experience.
I also have responsibility within account management for assisting the smooth onboarding of new customers that have been won by our Sales team, working closely with the sales team, to ensure that the customer has a great first experience working with LateRooms.com Business.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the interaction with customers and being able to assist them in making their day to day lives easier.
I also enjoy the management of my team and helping to see them develop as people as well as account managers, through coaching. We have had a busy 3 months since I joined the company putting in new processes to assist with the structure of the team and how we work with customers, which is already bearing positive benefits both internally and externally.
What previous experience do you have that got you here today?
I moved into the travel industry 20 years ago and it feels like yesterday! I have worked at various levels from low level cold calling to managing sales and account management teams across travel management companies and hospitality organisations.
What I have learnt is that each company is different and that I continue to learn new skills each day. You can always develop yourself and apply new skills to the experience you already have but also utilise and impart my knowledge to others.
I firmly believe that you need to challenge yourself first and foremost but also challenge others around you. At the same time it is also key to listen to others, as no-one single person has all the answers or solutions to the challenges that we may face.
Where is the best place you’ve ever travelled to?
Having lived and worked in America, I have been to many places as varied from New York to working in Alabama, with children with disabilities. But my favourite place has to be a tie!
I love Boston and the New England area, for its variety through the seasons. Boston is an amazing historical, walking city with a fantastic mix of the old and new and a sports city like no other. I also spent a long weekend in New Orleans aged 22 and it blew my mind, as you could always find somewhere to eat, drink or listen to music, 24 hours a day. My kind of city!
And where’s on the bucket-list?
I am hugely enamoured by France and Italy. I took my daughters to France for the first time last year and they experienced Italy the year before.
The next holiday for us will be to Italy again, taking in Florence, Siena and the beautiful Tuscan region, enjoying the fantastic scenery, food and wine!
What is the best advice you would give to someone wanting to join the travel industry?
This is a fantastic, cutting edge industry that is always looking for the next big thing to assist people travelling and people managing the booking and procurement of travel.
There are many streams to work in and my best advice would be not to silo yourself in one area. Work for a company that wants to invest in you and give you the opportunity to have a broad spectrum of working experience. Oh and enjoy the lovely hotels or business flights that you may experience as part of your role. You’ll get to see some great places and experience meeting some fantastic people.